World news story

Manila conference on energy efficiency

The British Embassy, Clinton Foundation and the Department of Energy have partnered on an energy efficiency conference to improve operations that will yield cost savings.

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Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran

The conference titled “Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Investment and Cost Savings” gathered service providers, technology suppliers, and financial institutions to discuss challenges, opportunities and solutions to encourage energy efficiency among property owners and transform the market of energy efficient buildings. This is part of a larger programme with the Clinton Foundation in both Thailand and the Philippines to encourage and scale up energy efficiency in older buildings. The event was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Makati on 20 March 2013.

British Ambassador Stephen Lillie said:

Energy efficiency is a win-win solution. While there are important benefits for the environment, energy efficiency is something that makes economic sense both for government and the private sector. It is one of the reasons why the UK has been able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 20% on 1990 levels.

The programme, implemented by the Clinton Foundation, also provided the Department of Finance (DOF) with an Investment Grade Audit (IGA) – a comprehensive analysis of current energy usage and potential energy savings, on the DOF’s headquarters building on Roxas Boulevard in Manila. The detailed study showed that, despite the recent replacement of old equipment such as the complete air-conditioning system, the building could still achieve 12% reductions in energy usage and a return on investment of less than 2 years.

In response to this study, DOF Undersecretary Gil Beltran said:

The study is very useful in our operations. We thank the Clinton Foundation and the British Embassy for their support in this project. We will endeavour to include the building retrofit program in our proposed 2014 budget for discussion with Department of Budget and Management and Congress.

Undersecretary Beltran noted that, assuming the DOF project is a good benchmark, if 20 National Government Departments retrofit their own buildings, savings in Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) will be roughly Php361.4 million. This amount would enable the government to do either of the following: build 20 kilometres of 4-6 lane expressway; 1,500 kilometres of rural roads; 1,800 more classrooms; or cover an additional 63,000 more beneficiaries for conditional cash transfer.

Energy Undersecretary Loreta Ayson also stated:

The Department of Energy recognizes the importance of holding this conference in promoting energy efficiency and conservation in the property and building sectors where great potential for energy savings can be derived. For government efforts to succeed, everyone has to participate and investments have to come in. Our vision is to create significant improvements in the country’s energy consumption and contribute positively to national productivity and development as well as reduce greenhouse gas emission for progress and sustainability.

Former US President Bill Clinton launched the Clinton Climate Initiative’s Building Retrofit Programme in 2007 with 35 Mayors and several private sector companies. The CCI Asia Pacific Building Retrofit portfolio represents approximately $250 million dollars of buildings in Sydney, Melbourne, Seoul, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Tokyo, and Manila. To date, a total of approximately 150 buildings in Asia Pacific have participated in the programme.

Published 21 March 2013